09.03.08 — 05.04.08 ‘Walls Have Ears’, Group exhibition

Curated by Stephen Nelson.

Featuring work by Simon Callery, Clem Crosby, Jasper Deane, Brian Griffiths, Kabir Hussain, Sarah Jones, Brighid Lowe, Stephen Nelson.

The exhibition of artworks and objects in ‘Walls Have Ears’ challenges conventional notions of order. Seemingly unconnected objects and artifacts have been brought together with works of art owned or admired by the curator and assembled into a temporary collection.

The French philosopher Michel Foucault, writing about the ‘exotic charm of another system of thought’ argued that all systems of order and classification are revealed to be arbitrary, subjective, and personal. The selection of work in ‘Walls Have Ears’ is wholly subjective and personal, and yet, the choice and placement of each piece is entirely deliberate, ordered and canonical. All of the artists in this exhibition have surrendered the autonomy contained in their work to the curator’s vision, allowing new meanings, values and relationships to occur. As such, the exhibition brings some of the energy and excitement of the artist’s studio into the gallery.

Much of the work is infused with an exotic charm that implies use within some ancient ritual or practice. An over-sized foot-stool by Kabir Hussain, the woven top of which has been cast in bronze and covered in gold-plate, might provide a worthy throne for a tribal leader. Brian Griffiths’ plaster-cast heads from ‘Peter Lorre’s Time Machine’ look like the commemorative gargoyles that adorn the pillars of cathedrals and churches. Simon Callery’s paintings and sculptures appear to possess the memory of some form or event lost in the pages of history. In the Grade II listed surroundings of Man&Eve gallery, and juxtaposed with masks, fabrics and objects from around the world, the work assumes the quality of a permanent collection which is intended to be lived with.

The curator and artists at Man&Eve, invite you to linger – look and listen to the stories told by the objects in these rooms and the images on these walls.

The exhibition is accompanied by an introductory essay by Dr. Maria Loh. You can read the essay here.